13 Conversations About One Thing

Bomb Rating: 

I hate movies where the entire plot is posited on an otherwise rational person doing something unbelievably stupid. In this case, district attorney Troy (Matthew McConaughey) hits house cleaner Beatrice (Clea DuVall) in his BMW.

Troy has had a few drinks, celebrating another conviction with his lawyer buddies. Troy has also been prattling on about putting another guilty person behind bars and how he's so happy to be making justice happen. However, he gets out of his car, surveys the situation with Beatrice, and then drives off. A normal person calls the police and reports the accident.

Director Jill Sprecher tries to explore the existential ramifications of living a happy life by examining the peculiar interactions of many different characters including Troy, Beatrice, a mathematician, Walker (John Turturro), who's cheating on his wife Patricia (Amy Irving), and a miserable manager, Gene (Alan Arkin), at an insurance agency. Each of them has a quaint little philosophy about living happily. Walker tries to apply logic to every situation. Beatrice relies on faith. Troy derives pleasure from morality and ethics. Gene believes that life is miserable and derives what little happiness he can squeeze out of life by imparting that wisdom onto others. I loved Gene.

This little philosophy lesson includes that ever-popular style of intertwining lives, where these seemingly unconnected people interact with each other through the miracle of cinema. Supposedly, this focuses the movie. Personally, it just kept me on the lookout for the next clever little interaction. I like it when films are clever. It gives me something to do when the story is boring me to death.

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